Time's Techland points out some interesting statistics that many of us didn't know about Apple's iPad and iPhone devices: it costs less than $2 USD a year in electricity to charge. Of course, depending on where you live, and how hands-off your state government is in regulating your local utility company that cost might be slightly higher or lower.
FiveOneNine Games has released its first iOS game today called Political Rampage. The game gives players control of "outrageous caricatures" of famous American politicians who battle in quick match-three battles to win debates on the campaign trail. The items you will be matching in the game are issues important to the voting public.
Florian Mueller, patent law expert and proprietor of the wonderful web site Foss Patents, passed along a note letting us know that the Federal Trade Commission recently sent a letter to the International Trade Commission asking the organization not to ban the sale of the iPhone, iPad or Xbox 360 related to complaints filed by Google.
Engage Digital has issued a call for speakers for the second annual App Conference on October 18-19, 2012 in Santa Clara, CA. Those interested in sharing their expertise with the app development and business community can submit their pitches here.
The deadline is June 11. The event caters to app developers on various platforms including game developers.
Electronic Arts says that it is not shutting down or discontinuing Rock Band on iOS devices and calls a notice sent to customers as well as a FAQ entry "errors." Speaking to Polygon an EA spokesperson assured that publication that the iOS version of the Harmonix hit music game isn't going anywhere.
EA said that the pop-up message that the app sent to users was an oopsie. The message popped up when users opened the Rock Band iOS app. It warned users:
Users of the iOS version of Rock Band were surprised to receive a notice from the game warning them that it was going to expire on May 31. First noted by this Reddit thread and pictured to your left, the notice warned users that the $4.99 app was going to expire at the end of the month, but iTunes is still selling the app without such a warning and EA is incommunicado on the story as of this writing.
XEOPlay has launched Tilt World, a game that hopes to "end climate change" through "play sourcing." Nicole Lazzaro, CEO of XEOPlay introduced Tilt World to the audience at DEMO Spring 2012 in Santa Clara, CA. In Tilt World, players control Flip, a tadpole who is trying to conquer climate change by planting trees in the real world using the power of players (playsourcing) and through a partnership with WeForest.org.
A federal judge has finally granted Apple's motion to intervene on behalf of iOS developers who have found themselves in a legal battle against Lodsys. It took the court nearly a year to come to this decision. This ruling allows the iOS platform holder to argue in court on behalf of developers who have been sued over alleged patent infringement for using the iOS system's in-app purchasing APIs. Apple has licensed the technology from Lodsys so it will argue in court that developers who use the platform do not infringe on the patent because Apple already obtained a license.
The cheering at political rallies is pretty good, but you know what it needs more of? Cowbell. This is such an odd app for iOS devices that it at least deserves a mention here, even though it is not a game, nor does it have much use outside of providing information and making a lot of noise. The app is called Cowbell 2012, and its sole purpose is to give users the ability to ring a cowbell at a political rally or out in public. Here's more about it from its developers:
Registered sex offenders of all designations residing in the state of New York will no longer be able to interact with children in some online console and PC games. New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office has convinced several platform holders and game companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Blizzard Entertainment, Electronic Arts, Warner Bros. and Disney Interactive Media Group to shut down the communication privileges of registered sex offenders.
While we are not sure if it is the first Kickstarter funded game development project to come to market, Saturday Morning RPG is the first in recent memory to be released. The iOS action RPG which is being released as an ongoing serial (i.e. like a Saturday morning cartoon) successfully managed to raise $10,661. The developers were looking to raise $6,000. The first two episodes launch today.
It will be interesting to see how the public (who didn’t participate in the Kickstarter) receive the game. The App Store page for the game contains mostly positive reviews so far.
Epic Games and Train2Game announced a who's who of judges to decide the winners of the Make Something Unreal Live competition. The game development competition comes to the Gadget Show Live on April 10-15, 2012 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK. Complementing the Make Something Unreal Live advisory board and Train2Game directors, the new judges will review the program’s new Fighting Fantasy iOS games and coach start-up teams.
Last week EA Mobile removed Battlefield 3: Aftershock from the Apple App Store because users complained about stability and a lack of content. Now we have learned that another recently released iOS title, The Simpsons: Tapped Out, has been yanked from Apple's App Store. This time out EA says that it pulled the popular free app from the marketplace because of an "overwhelmingly positive" reaction to the game.
On February 22 EA Mobile pulled its iOS Battlefield 3 spin-off game from the Apple App Store after users complained about the game's lack of depth and a number of serious issues including connection problems and control issues. Today Vox Games has been told by an EA Mobile rep that development on the game has been halted and permanently shelved - never to return to Apple's devices.
Earlier this month Electronic Arts released the free-to-play, ad-supported Battlefield 3: Aftershock game on the Apple App Store. It seemed to be doing well, but apparently the game has been yanked. The sudden removal of the game isn't all that much of a mystery: EA looked at the negative reviews the game was getting and decided that it needed to make some drastic changes. The average user review score for the game was right around 2.5 stars.
IndieGames.com has an interesting story chronicling the falling out of the people behind the popular iOS and Android game Hard Lines. The fight involves Spilt Milk, who by their own admission provided art assets and marketing for the game, and the game's programmer Nicoll Hunt. The argument is over who owns the game, who was wrong in breaking a contract they had in place, and what a reasonable amount of compensation is for hard work.
Over the weekend some modern-day hucksters decided to put up "Pokémon Yellow" on Apple's App store. The app, which purported to be "just like the original" and has since been yanked from the store by Apple, made it into the number 3 position on the store's paid app charts. The app certainly confused plenty of customers, who gleefully plunked down .99 cents to play an authentic Pokémon game on their iOS device of choice, only to find that it crashed when launching.
Xie Xianghui, the lawyer representing Shenzhen Proview Technology in China, said that the Intermediate People’s Court in Huizhou (a city in the southern China province of Guangdong) ruled on Friday that distributors should stop selling Apple's iPad devices in the region. The company is in a bitter dispute with Apple in China because it owns the rights to the "iPad" trademark there. Under Chinese law, the company has the power to stop imports and exports of the product.
A studio formed by five ex-Sony developers last year explained why they ditched the PS3 and the PlayStation Network to develop games for Apple's iOS platform. When asked what drove them into the arms of Sony's competitors, the answer was simple enough:
Apple's social gaming network currently on the iOS will be supported by Mac OS X with the release of Update 10.8 Mountain Lion, according to Edge. Update 10.8 Mountain Lion is a paid update that will be released this summer. Like its iOS counterpart, Game Center on Mac will include support for achievements, scoreboards, online play, game invites and matchmaking, and add cross-platform play and in-game voice chat.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology Conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that his company is committed to working with manufacturing partners that offer its employees a "fair and safe work environment."
"Where they can earn competitive wages and they can voice their concerns freely. Apple's suppliers must live up to this to do business with Apple," he said.
Imangi Studios' Temple Run has been downloaded more than 36 million times since launching in August of 2011, according to Gamasutra. Some of that increase in downloads can be attributed to a couple of things. The first is the last five months of switching from a pay title to free-to-play game. The company also claims that the game has 7 million daily active users at present.
In 2011 AT&T warned its heavy data using mobile customers that it would reduce their connection speed if said usage inched in to the "top five percent." AT&T is defining that metric as anyone who uses more that 2.1 GB of data a month. As chronicled in this NYT blog post, one of AT&T's customers hit the 2.1 GB mark and had his connection throttled. The problem, that customer says, is that he has a data limit of 3GB a month because a legacy unlimited plan.
New research from Parks Associates finds that the percentage of U.S. gamers who regularly download games or apps to their mobile devices has increased from seven percent in 2008 to 18 percent in 2011. Among tablet owners, 71 percent of adults and 79 percent of teens use the device to play games at least one hour per month. Gamers already spend $29 per month on Facebook games, and $21 per month on free-to-play games - on purchases of virtual goods and in-game upgrades.
Apple is apparently cracking down on applications that they consider to be clones of other popular apps on its App Store. Evidence of such a crackdown comes from web site VideoGameWriters, who noted that one particular app developer - who is fond of using "familiar titles" for his apps - seems to have less of them available on the APP Store today.
According to a Touch Arcade forum user, a company has been offering to boost the ranking of free apps using bots on Apple's App Store. According to a user named "walterkaman," the unnamed company will set up automated and repeated downloads of a client's app in order to push it into Apple's Top Free charts. While the company was not named and the story has - as of yet - remained unverified, it has caught the attention of Apple.
By Kevin Dent
I started to play Triple Town as of last weekend; I had a blast and even more so when I see that they were actively supporting it with frequent updates. Then I started to hear some rumblings in the industry about how another game basically ripped it off.
Since then, we have seen Spry Fox issue proceedings against Lolapps. Most of us have read about it and shook our heads; I want to take the rhetoric out of it. I wanted to just look at the basic facts.
Valve has started the closed beta testing phase of a new Steam App for both Android and iOS devices. While the device won't let you do too much beyond being social with your Steam friends and mucking about with your account, it's a first step into the world of mobile devices for Valve's popular PC games distribution platform.
Apple continues to prove that whoever runs its approval department for iOS apps may not be paying attention. As this C&VG story points out the latest offenders is a Mario Kart rip-off called 'Mole Kart.' Available for right around $2, Mole Kart looks suspiciously like Mario Kart.